Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Salon January 31, 2010

The Sunday Salon.com

* I had an awful reading weekend. I read one book and I might finish another one tonight. I could not focus and we were busy Saturday. Today was major cleaning day. My house is so nice and clean. It feels great to start the week off with.

* Today was the last day for two reading challenges. The Japanese Reading Challenge 3 and the L. M. Montgomery. I read one book for each. I read Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery. I read After Dark by Haruki Murakami for the Japanese Literature Reading Challenge 3. Here are the links to my reviews:
http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/short-sleek-novel-of-encounters-set-in.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/jane-of-lantern-hill-by-l-m-montgomery.html

* I hope everyone has a great week and find lots of time for reading. :)

After Dark by Haruki Murakami (Review)



Summary:

A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.


At its center are two sisters—Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before, a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. These “night people” are haunted by secrets and needs that draw them together more powerfully than the differing circumstances that might keep them apart, and it soon becomes clear that Eri’s slumber—mysteriously tied to the businessman plagued by the mark of his crime—will either restore or annihilate her.


After Dark moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency—the interplay between self-expression and empathy, between the power of observation and the scope of compassion and love. Murakami’s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery.
from the Random House site


My Review:
I read this for the Japanese Literature Reading Challenge or I never would have thought about it. This author definitely has a way with words. The plot itself is kinda depressing so you have to look past it. The characters are interesting and come off the page. It is out of my comfort zone but I don't regret reading it. The setting is unique, Tokyo, Japan, between the hours of 11:56 P. M. to 6:52 A. M. The center of the story is Mari and in the background her sister Eri. I really like the book summary above from the publishing site so I am not going to redo it here. My impression is a weird but oddly riveting book. Recommended.

Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery (Review)



Book Summary:
For as long as she could remember, Jane Victoria Stuart and her mother, Robin, lived with her grandmother in a dreary mansion in Toronto. Jane always believed her father was dead--until she accidentally learned he was alive and well and living on Prince Edward Island. When Jane spends the summer at his cottage on Lantern Hill, doing all the wonderful things Grandmother deems unladylike, she dares to dream that there could be such a house back in Toronto...a house where she, Mother, and Father could live together without Grandmother directing their lives--a house that could be called home.


My Review:
I have read most of L. M. Montgomery's fiction works and at least liked all of them. My favorite of course is the Anne of Green Gables series. I think this is the last of her full length works I have not read. :(

Anyway what I loved about this book are the vivid descriptions. I felt like I was really in Canada. First in grandmother's dreary house and then in the wonderful PEI. The characters and plot are new and interesting. It flows well and is well written. The whole book was just lovely. One of my favorite reads for January. Definitely Recommended. :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Simple Life by Thom and Art Rainer (Review)



Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: B&H Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-0805448863


About the Book:
The research and change methods that made Simple Church a multiawarded, #1 ministry best seller are now applied to everyday matters in Simple Life.


Authors Thom S. Rainer and Art Rainer interviewed a cross-section of 1,077 individuals to confirm that most people feel their lives are overly stressful and misguided, not allowing enough time for what really counts. As they share these highly relatable stories, the Rainers chart a simple path from joyless to joyful.


Breaking life down into four key sections (God, Time, Relationships, Money), the authors show how four key goals (Clarity, Movement, Alignment, Focus) can begin to foster a life that is more spiritual and less busy, a life rich in experiences with family and friends rather than double-booked to-do lists and late nights at the office. The book even lays out an easy-to-follow action plan that will move readers assuredly toward the simple life in just thirty days.

My Review:
Overall this was a good book and I enjoyed reading it. I am a single girl in late 20s. I have never been married or have children so many of the examples did not apply to me. The format made sense for the most part. I got a little confused in a few spots. I was able to pull out some good information and apply it to my life including this statement. What really matters is our relationship with God and others. We need to focus on these things. That is the simple life. People first. We need to eliminate even if means getting rid of something that is good that is focus. Clarity means you know where you are going. Movement is how we remove congestion to get where we need to go. Alignment is looking at bad habits and problems that are interfering with your progress. The authors discussed all four areas in relationship to God, Time, Money, and Relationships. The Simple Life is possible ironically it just takes effort. Recommended especially to families.

About the Author
Thom S. Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest Christian resource companies worldwide, and the best-selling coauthor of Simple Church. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons and live in Nashville, Tennessee.


Art Rainer is a banking professional and freelance writer. He earned his MBA from the University of Kentucky and now lives with his wife, Sarah, near Miami, Florida.

Review copy provided by B+H Publishing Group.

Angel's Den by Jamie Carie (Review)





Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (February 1, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-0805448146


Book Summary:

In 1808, when Emma meets and marries Eric Montclaire (the famed “most handsome man west of the Appalachians”), this young daughter of prominent St. Louis citizens believes a fairy tale has just begun. Instead, her husband’s angelic looks quickly prove only to mask a monstrous soul all too capable of possessive emotions and physical abuse. Praying for mercy, she is devastated when Eric insists on her joining his yearlong group expedition to the Pacific Ocean, following the trail Lewis and Clark blazed just a few years earlier. By the time cartographer Luke Bowen realizes Emma’s plight, it’s too late to easily untangle what has become an epic web of lies, theft, murder, courtroom drama, and a deep longing for love. Only God can show them the way out.


My Review:

Angel's Den held my attention from page one. It is a captivating, intriguing, suspenseful, riveting, historical Christian fiction novel. It is set in 1808 and mentions the Lewis and Clark expedition without getting heavy on the history aspect. I was really surprised in a good way at the twists and turns the book took. It is a well written book and I could not turn the pages fast enough. The main characters are Emma Daring Montclaire and her abusive, deceptive, murderous, husband Eric, Luke the cartographer/guide, and multiple excellent secondary characters. The plot was interesting and parts unique. The amount of faith element was just right. I loved how Luke helped Emma and her faith mature through hardships, danger, and stressful circumstances. The ending was a surprise also but good. One of my favorite reads for January. I have read all of Jamie Carie's books and she gets better and better. Highly Recommended.


About the author:
Jamie Carie writes novels about fierce, passionate women; their dreams; their fears; their triumphs. Her deepest desire is to see her readers find that same passion as they follow their destiny and discover deeper intimacy with Jesus. She has written Snow Angel, Wind Dancer, Love's First Light, and The Duchess and the Dragon.

She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three sons.




Thank you Julie Gwinn of B+H Publishing for my review copy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Becca By the Book by Laura Jensen Walker (Review)



This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Becca By The Book


Zondervan (January 1, 2010)


by


Laura Jensen Walker






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Laura Jensen Walker is an award-winning writer, popular speaker, and breast-cancer survivor who loves to touch readers and audiences with the healing power of laughter.



Born in Racine, Wisconsin (home of Western Printing and Johnson’s Wax—maker of your favorite floor care products) Laura moved to Phoenix, Arizona when she was in high school. But not being a fan of blazing heat and knowing that Uncle Sam was looking for a few good women, she enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after graduation and spent the next five years flying a typewriter through Europe.



Her lifelong dream of writing fiction came true in Spring 2005 with the release of her first chick lit novel, Dreaming in Black & White which won the Contemporary Fiction Book of the Year from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her sophomore novel, Dreaming in Technicolor was published in Fall 2005.



Laura’s third novel, Reconstructing Natalie, chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006, is the funny and poignant story of a young, single woman who gets breast cancer and how her life is reconstructed as a result. This book was born out of Laura’s cancer speaking engagements where she started meeting younger and younger women stricken with this disease—some whose husbands had left them, and others who wondered what breast cancer would do to their dating life. She wanted to write a novel that would give voice to those women. Something real. And honest. And funny.



Because although cancer isn’t funny, humor is healing.



To learn more about Laura’s latest novels, please check out her Books page.



A popular speaker and teacher at writing conferences, Laura has also been a guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows around the country including the ABC Weekend News, The 700 Club, and The Jay Thomas Morning Show.



She lives in Northern California with her Renaissance-man husband Michael, and Gracie, their piano playing dog.





ABOUT THE BOOK





Sales clerk, barista, telemarketer, sign waver...



At twenty-five, free-spirited Becca Daniels is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. What Becca doesn’t want to be is bored. She craves the rush of a new experience, whether it’s an extreme sport, a shocking hair color, or a new guy. That’s why she quit her bookstore job, used her last bit of credit to go skydiving, and broke her leg.



And that’s why, grounded and grumpy, Becca bristles when teased by friends for being commitment-phobic. In response, Becca issues an outrageous wager—that she can sustain a three-month or twenty-five date relationship with the next guy who asks her out. When the guy turns out to be “churchy” Ben—definitely not Becca’s type—she gamely embarks on a hilarious series of dates that plunge her purple-haired, free-speaking, commitment-phobic self into the alien world of church potlucks and prayer meetings.



This irrepressible Getaway Girl will have you cheering her on as she “suffers” through her dates, gains perspective on her life’s purpose, and ultimately begins her greatest adventure of all.



If you'd like to read the first chapter of Becca By The Book, go HERE

My Review:

I dislike writing negative reviews but I cannot help this one. I was very disappointed in the third book in the Getaway Girls series for several reasons. God's name is taken in vain many times and even though it was done by the non Christian member, Becca, I still think it was inappropriate for a Christian Chick Lit book. Her bad behavior was overdone. I did not like the way Christians in the church Becca visits with Ben were portrayed. Christianise does exist and that did open my eyes a little.

Also there was the twist toward the end involving another character of the book club getting pregnant before marriage and eloping. It was not something I ever thought that character would do. The author handled it like its done just move on everything is great and fine. The writing was choppy in areas and did not always flow especially toward the end. As for the ending it was not believable. I hope there is a fourth book but the epilogue tells all the details of the other members lives so I doubt it. While I can recommend the first two books in this series I cannot recommend this one unfortunately.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Week in Words Meme

I am coming a little late to this one but it looks really interesting. This is the first week for this meme which requires you to post a few of your favorite quotes from the books etc. you are reading. It is hosted by Melissa at Breath of Life Ministries http://breathoflifeministries.blogspot.com/
I love quotations so I am really excited about this and that is a pretty button. :)

" Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."
Matt. 22:37-39
I was reminded of this while reading The Simple Life by Tom and Art Rainer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What's On Your Nightstand? January 26, 2010



I love this meme from 5 Minutes for Books.
http://www.5minutesforbooks.com/
The goal is for others to see what you are reading/going to be reading. I love visiting everyone's blog and seeing their lists/pictures. I choose pictures because I have a large TBR and its easier to see them. One stack is my library books I have checked out. It is not too bad right now. One stack is all the Love Inspired books I need to read. I had it somewhat read down before the end of the year but it is now out of control again. I need to read one a night to get it back under control. lol They are short, fast, easy, usually good books. The other two stacks are books sent to me to read and review. I am so excited about them. I can't wait to read them. :)















Monday, January 25, 2010

Kelly's Chance by Wanda Brunstetter (Review)



This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Kelly’s Chance
Barbour Books; Reprint edition (January 1, 2010)


by


Wanda E. Brunstetter





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A Note From Wanda:



Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. When I was in the second grade, I wrote my first poem about a moth. Luckily, I received encouragement from my teacher. During my teen years, I wrote skits that my church teen group performed during special holidays.



It wasn’t until 1980, that I took a course on writing for children and teenagers. I became serious about a career as an author. Soon after that, I began to write stories, articles, poems, and devotionals, which appeared in a variety of Christian publications. Later, I had 5 books of puppet/ventriloquist scripts published. *These books are currently available by contacting me. (wanda@wandabrunstetter.com)



My first novel was released by Barbour Publishing’s book club, Heartsong Presents, in Dec. 1997. I have now written nearly fifty books, with over 4 million books in print. Many of the novels I've written are Amish-themed.




ABOUT THE BOOK





Life for Kelly McGregor is a daily drudge of driving her overbearing father’s mules along Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Canal. She dreams of one day owning an art gallery where her own drawings and paintings are on display. But these dreams don’t include marriage. . .not after seeing what her father has done to her mother. How then can Mike Cooper, a general store owner, make her realize he is different than her father and wants to support her artistic talent? Will Kelly learn that dreams can walk hand in hand with a love created by God?



If you would like to read the first chapter of Kelly’s Chance , go HERE.

My Review:

This was a fast easy enjoyable Christian Historical Romance Fiction book. I have only read one other book by this author and it was one of her Amish books which is what she primarily writes. I felt really bad for the main character Kelly and the rough hopeless life she leads and I was cheering Mike Cooper on to rescue her from it. It was predictable and the writing okay but I liked it. The ending wraps up all the loose ends and just a little too perfectly. Overall an okay book if you like the type. :)

What are you reading on Mondays? January 25, 2010



Books read last week:



- Endless Night by Dana Mentink

- Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater

- The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig

- Kelly's Chance by Wanda Brunstetter

- Becca by the Book by Laura Jensen Walker

- Angel's Den by Jamie Carie


Book I gave up on:

- Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris



Books I am currently reading:

- East of Eden by John Steinbeck

- Simple Life by Art and Tom Rainer

- The Male Factor by Shaunti Fieldhan



Books I plan to read next:

- Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

- Angels by David Jeremiah

- Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate

- Third Time's a Charm by Virginia Smith

- Listen by Rene Gutteridge



Books I need to review:

Ten and I don't feel like listing them all. :)



Books I reviewed last week:

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/screen-play-by-chris-coppernoll-review.html


http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/lady-like-sarah-by-margaret-brownley.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/choice-by-suzanne-woods-fisher-review.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/thicker-than-blood-by-c-j-darlington.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/jennas-cowboy-by-sharon-gillenwater.html

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Salon January 24, 2010

The Sunday Salon.com

* I had a pretty good weekend. It went by really quick.

* I read several books most of them really good.

* I read:
- Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater
- The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig
- Kelly's Chance by Wanda Brunstetter
- Becca by the Book by Laura Jensen Walker
- Almost finished with Angel's Den by Jamie Carie

- All of the books were good but my favorites were Jenna's Cowboy and the Betrayal of the Blood Lily.

- I am still doing laundry but I need to clean the bathtubs. :( Not my favorite chore. lol

- Work has been a little unstable last week. They are cutting all overtime so my hours are changing. I will be 7:45 to 4:45 with an hour for lunch. I go to work and work as hard as I can all day so hopefully I will still be able to get everything done. I am also now collecting co insurance up front so if your insurance pays 80 you pay the other 20 percent. It was a little nerve wracking at first because I felt bad asking them for money but it is not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I do not want to curse myself though. Our patient load has not been heavy lately.

- I hope everyone has a great week and finds lots of reading time. :)

Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater (Review)




Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Revell (January 1, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-0800733537


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Can you ever get a second chance at your first love?
Jenna Callahan Colby thought she was content. A partner on her father's successful ranch, she is surrounded by family and friends. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town--the first guy she ever noticed, the one her father sent away all those years ago.And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever.Jenna's cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With the help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him--and become the man Jenna deserves.

My Review:
Overall I really liked the book. The ending was not so great but the rest of the book made up for it. I loved the development of Nate and Jenna's relationship. Nate is home from two tours in the military including time in Iraq. He was awarded a medal for saving the lives of some of his fellow soldiers. The only problem is he has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Nate has loved Jenna since they were in high school but her father did not think he was good enough for his only daughter. She ended up marrying a local football hero who makes it to the big time. After a few years he leaves her and their baby for another women. Jenna returns home to Callahan Ranch to recover and raise her son. They both have scars and the author deals with it in a realistic way. Her research on PTSD and the military is evident. I love romantic military stories for some reason. I look forward to reading the next book in this series and more about the Callahans. Recommended. :)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sharon Gillenwater was born and raised in west Texas, and loves to write about her native state. The author of ten novels, she is a member of ACFW and Romance Writers of America. When she's not writing, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their son, daughter-in-law, and adorable grandson. Visit her website to learn more - and to see some beautiful Texas bluebonnets!


Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Thank you Donna Hausler at Baker Publishing Group for my review copy.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

Book Summary:
What will you build your life on? With startling transparency, Joshua Harris shares how we can rediscover the relevance and power of Christian truth. This is book shows a young man who rose quickly to success in the Christian evangelical world before he realized his spirituality lacked a foundation—it rested more on tradition and morality than on an informed knowledge of God.

For the indifferent or spiritually numb, Harris's humorous and engaging reflections on Christian beliefs show that orthodoxy isn't just for scholars—it is for anyone who longs to know the living Jesus Christ. As Harris writes, "I've come to learn that theology matters. It matters not because we want to impress people, but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live. Theology matters because if we get it wrong then our whole life will be wrong."

Whether you are just exploring Christianity or you are a veteran believer finding yourself overly familiar and cold-hearted, Dug Down Deep will help you rediscover the timeless truths of Scripture. As Harris challenges you to root your faith and feelings about God in the person, work, and words of Jesus, he answers questions such as:

What is God like and how does he speak to me?What difference does it make that Jesus was both human and divine?How does Jesus's death on the cross pay for my sins?Who is the Holy Spirit and how does he work in my life? With grace and wisdom, Harris will inspire you to revel in the truth that has captured his own mind and heart. He will ask you to dig deep into a faith so solid you can build your life on it. He will point you to something to believe in again.

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781601421517


My Thoughts:
I read I Kissed Dating Goodbye way back when it first came out which was my only exposure to the writing of Joshua Harris until now. I actually have not finished this book. I gave up on page 56. The autobiographical parts of his life he included were nice. But overall the book did not grab and hold my attention. I think I was expecting something deeper. He kept referencing other great authors and there did not seem to be any original content. I am posting the link to Amazon where you can read other reviews. The book is not recommended by me though.

http://www.amazon.com/Dug-Down-Deep-Unearthing-Believe/dp/1601421516/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264284881&sr=8-1

Author Bio:
Joshua Harris is senior pastor of Covenant Life in Gaithersburg , Maryland , which belongs to the Sovereign Grace network of local churches. A passionate speaker with a gift for making theological truth easy to understand, Joshua is perhaps best known for his runaway bestseller, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which he wrote at the age of twenty-one. His later books include Boy Meets Girl, Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is), and Stop Dating the Church. The founder of the NEXT conferences for young adults, Joshua is committed to seeing the gospel transferred to a new generation of Christians. He and his wife, Shannon, have three children.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Out Now from B+H Publishing



In 1808, when Emma meets and marries Eric Montclaire (the famed “most handsome man west of the Appalachians”), this young daughter of prominent St. Louis citizens believes a fairy tale has just begun. Instead, her husband’s angelic looks quickly prove only to mask a monstrous soul all too capable of possessive emotions and physical abuse. Praying for mercy, she is devastated when Eric insists on her joining his yearlong group expedition to the Pacific Ocean, following the trail Lewis and Clark blazed just a few years earlier. By the time cartographer Luke Bowen realizes Emma’s plight, it’s too late to easily untangle what has become an epic web of lies, theft, murder, courtroom drama, and a deep longing for love. Only God can show them the way out.

Out Now from B+H Publishing


Double Cross continues the story of Taylor Pasbury, a heroic young woman introduced in James David Jordan's novel, Forsaken ("highly readable . . . Taylor is a character worth another visit" -BookPage). Raised by a father who was a former Special Forces officer, Taylor is beautiful and brilliant and knows how to take care of herself. But she is haunted by her past and the sacrifice her father made to save her from a brutal rape when she was seventeen. After a controversial stint in the Secret Service, she has become the most prominent private security specialist in America. When she discovers the body of a former client's top assistant, all the evidence points to embezzlement and suicide. But Taylor has no way of knowing that her mother, who ran out when Taylor was nine, is about to reappear and lead her down a twisting path of danger and deceit. It's a road that won't end until they reach the spot where Taylor's father died - where Taylor learns that some sacrifices can never be earned.

Out Now from B+H Publishing


"Bury me standing. I must be buried standing."


Powers, the follow-up to John Olson's Shade introduces a sheltered Gypsy girl named Mariutza. Her grandfather utters a mysterious last request before dying in her arms after being shot by ten cloaked men. Those same men die before her eyes, but strange powers continue to pursue Mari through the swamps of southern Louisiana where she has always hidden from "the Badness." The whole world seems to join in the chase-helicopters, soldiers, government agents, and the police are all trying to kill her. Mari's only hope of survival is to find Jaazaniah the Prophet, the mythical hero of her grandfather's bedtime stories. But she has never been outside the swamp or known other humans besides her grandfather and one teacher. How can this lone girl survive the bewildering world of men long enough to find a prophet who might not even exist?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thicker than Blood by C. J. Darlington (Review)



Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (December 3, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-1414334486

About the book:
Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon, Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May’s Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late?
My Review:
I thought this was a good debut novel. It was well written with an interesting plot and characters. They were both fully developed. The difficult topics of abortion, alcohol, and abuse by a boyfriend were addressed without weighing it down too much. I enjoyed the parts about books and book selling. I have one sister but we are somewhat close. I could never imagine leaving the way Christy left May. This was a page turner I could not wait to see what happened next. I love the front cover too. It fits the book perfectly. I can't wait to read another book by this author. Recommended.

About the Author:
C. J. began writing the story that would become Thicker than Blood (her first novel) when she was a fifteen-year-old homeschool student. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over a decade, scouting for stores similar to the one described in the novel before cofounding her own online bookstore. Thicker than Blood was the winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel.

C. J. co-founded the Christian entertainment Web site TitleTrakk.com with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Visit her website www.cjdarlington.com for more info.
Thank you Tyndale and Titletrack for my review copy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Review)



Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Revell; Original edition (January 1, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-0800733858


About the book:

With a vibrant, fresh style Suzanne Woods Fisher brings readers into the world of a young Amish woman, Carrie Weaver, torn between following the man she loves--or joining the community of faith that sustains her, even as she questions some of the decisions of her elders. Her choice begins a torrent of change for her and her family, including a marriage of convenience to silent Daniel Miller. Both bring broken hearts into their arrangement--and secrets that have been held too long. Filled with gentle romance, The Choice opens the world of the Amish--their strong communities, their simple life, and their willingness to put each other first. Combined with Fisher's exceptional gift for character development, this novel, the first in a series, is a welcome reminder that it is never too late to find your way back to God.


My Review:
I thought this was overall an okay Christian Amish fiction book. The beginning felt rushed and there were many big changes in the first third of the book including deaths. The middle and end slowed down and developed more. The main character is Amish girl Carrie Weaver. She has a big choice to make in the beginning choosing between a boy or her Amish faith. It is the start of choices she has to make and they are not easy.There are several plot twists I did not see coming. The title fits the book. Life is about choices and we are shaped by the ones we make. It is a story of redemption, forgiveness, and love and it was interesting to see her character and the minor ones change over the course of the book. It is the first book in a new series and I look forward to reading book two.



About the author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher’s interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Dunkard Brethren Church in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Benedict eventually became publisher of Christianity Today magazine. Suzanne’s work has appeared in many magazines. She has contributed to several nonfiction books and is the author of Amish Peace and the novel The Choice.

Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thank you Donna Hausler at Baker Publishing Group for my review copy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley (Review)



This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing


A Lady Like Sarah
Thomas Nelson; Original edition (December 22, 2009)
by
Margaret Brownley




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."



It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she's written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. "I love writing about characters at different stages of faith," she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, "and I'm here to stay."



Happily married to her real-life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Sarah Prescott has never known a respectable life; just a hardscrabble childhood and brothers who taught her to shoot straight.


Justin Wells left Boston in disgrace, heading out alone on the dusty trail to Texas. But when the once-respected clergyman encounters a feisty redhead in handcuffs with a dying US Marshall at her side, their journey takes a dramatic turn.


His high society expectations and Sarah's outlaw habits clash from the start. With a price on her head and a sweet orphan in tow, Justin and Sarah make the difficult journey toward Rocky Creek. There justice will be meted out hopefully with a portion of grace.



If you would like to read the first chapter of A Lady Like Sarah, go HERE

Watch the Book Trailer:



My Review:

Overall an okay Christian Historical novel. It is set in the 1870s Texas area. The heroine is Sarah Prescott, the only girl in the infamous Prescott gang. She is not one of the bad guys, the gang is composed of her three brothers who want revenge for their parents death and she just goes along with them. She knows the lifestyle is not right. After meeting preacher Justin Wells her struggling faith matures. The plot and characters were interesting and held my attention. Definitely some humorous details. I liked the romance that developed between Sarah and Justin. The ending was okay it did not seem like justice was served on her brothers. This is the first book in a series and I am looking forward to reading the next. If you like this type of book recommended. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Energy: Its Froms, Changes, and Functions by Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card authors are:


and the book set of
Energy: Its Forms, Changes & Functions

The Main Book

The Student Journal

and The Teacher's Guide

New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (September 30, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORs:


Tom DeRosa left seminary and the church thinking he was throwing away his faith, but in reality he found a new religion: evolution. In 1978, Tom accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. Soon after he studied biblical creation at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and came to the conclusion that a lack of knowledge of the biblical account of creation is greatly responsible for keeping many people from Christ. His commitment to breaking down those barriers is what led Tom to form Creation Studies Institute in 1988.


Carolyn Reeves, Ph.D. and her husband make their home in Oxford, Mississippi where they are active members of North Oxford Baptist Church. Carolyn retired after a 30-year career as a science teacher, finished a doctoral degree in science education, and began a new venture as a writer and an educational consultant.


The Main Book Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: Master Books (September 30, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515700
ISBN-13: 978-0890515709

The Student Journal Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Master Books; Student edition (June 30, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515719
ISBN-13: 978-0890515716


The Teacher's Guide Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Master Books; Tch edition (September 30, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515727
ISBN-13: 978-0890515723

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTERs:








Investigation #1: Where Exactly Does Energy Go?


Think about this. Ella understands that light is a form of energy, but she is having trouble with the idea that light energy cannot be created or destroyed.

“Look,” she told her aunt, who is a science teacher. “When I flip the switch and turn off the lights, I cause all the lights in the room to go away.” She demonstrated and made the room very dark.

“Now look what happens when I turn the light switch back on. The room fills with light again. Didn’t I just create and destroy the light in the room?” she asked.

“No, you certainly did not,” her aunt said. “All you did was demonstrate how energy can change from one form into another.”

Let’s look at some examples of how energy changes from one form to another in this lesson.


German-born Albert Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Price in Physics. His studies of light transformation helped to base his discovery of the photoelectric effect.


The Investigative Problems:

What are examples of energy?
Can one form of energy change into another form of energy?


Gather These Things:

1.5-vold dry cell
5-inch pieces of electric wire
Small wooden boards
Assorted rubber bands (different thicknesses, but same length)
1.5-volt light bulb
Sandpaper
Sturdy shoe box


Procedure & Observations

Electric energy ito light and head energy: Take a 1-5-volt dry cell, a five-inch wire, and a light bulb. Test different combinations until you get the light bulb to come on. Show your teacher when you are successful. Make a drawing to show how you connected everything.


Feel the light bulb. Can you tell if it has gotten any warmer? (Note: This is a small amount of head and it may not be easy to detect.)


Mechanical energy to heat energy: Rub a piece of sandpaper quickly over a board several times. Feel the sandpaper and the board. What kind of energy is produced?


Mechanical energy to sound energy: Remove the cover from a sturdy box and cut three groves on opposite edges of the box. Now choose three rubber bands of equal length, but each with a different thickness. Stretch the rubber bands around the box, fitting each into one of the grooves. Pluck each rubber band. Observe that it is vibrating. Listen for a sound. Repeat for each rubber band. Compare the pitch made by the different rubber bands. Record your observations.


The Science Stuff

Energy is what enables matter to move or to change. Energy is found in many different forms, such as heat, light, electricity, mechanical (the energy in moving things), sound, nuclear, and chemical. One form of energy can be changed into another form of energy. Still, the total amount of energy never changes. This means that energy cannot be created or destroyed. These ideas are expressed in one of the most important laws in all of science – the law of conservation of energy.

These activities illustrate some of the main forms of energy. Each activity shows one form of energy being changed into another form of energy. Electrical energy changed into light and heat, mechanical energy changed into heat, and mechanical energy changed into sound.

In the first activity, when the equipment was wired together correctly, an electric circuit was completed. An electric current then moved through the dry cell, wires, and light bulb. As the electric current moved through the light bulb, electric energy changed into light energy and heat energy.

This activity illustrates another important concept about energy. It shows that energy can be transferred from one place to another. Much of the earth’s energy is transferred from the sun to the earth.

Remember the conversation between Ella and her aunt? When Ella flipped the light switch, the electric current began to move through the wires and the light bulb. Inside the light bulb, electric energy changed into light and heat energy, which is the same thing that happened in your activity with electricity. When she turned the lights off, the objects in the room absorbed the heat and light energy. (This is a small amount of energy, and you probably couldn’t detect it without some sophisticated equipment.)

When you rubbed a board with sandpaper, your motion produced mechanical energy. This motion produced friction between the sandpaper and the wood, causing the molecules to move faster. As a result, both the sandpaper and the wood became hotter. Thus, the mechanical energy of the moving sandpaper changed into heat energy.

You were also the source of motion when you plucked the tight rubber bands, causing them to vibrate. Sound is produced when a force causes something to vibrate and produce sound waves. Sound energy is carried in waves.


Making Connections

Another way in which mechanical energy can produce sound waves is by tapping on a table. Tapping on the table causes the table to vibrate in the same way plucking on the rubber bands caused them to vibrate. Sound waves actually travel faster through the table than through the air. You can put your ear next to the table and hear the tapping sounds clearly. You can also raise your head and hear the sounds as the sound waves pass through the table and then through the air.

When electrical energy passes through a light bulb, it is changed into light energy and heat energy. Even though the heat energy is unwanted, it is still part of the electric bill. Engineers try to design light bulbs that increase the amount of light and decrease the amount of heat produced. Some progress has been made, but light bulbs continue to produce unwanted heat.


Dig Deeper

Start with the energy being given off from a TV or a radio in your home. Try to figure out where this energy comes from. See how far back you can trace the energy changes. This gets a little complicated, so get ad good reference book to help you.

What is the difference between an electric motor and an electric generator? They basically contain the same parts and are built the same way. However, an electric motor changes electric energy into mechanical energy, and an electric generator changes mechanical energy into electric energy.

In 1905, Albert Einstein proposed a theory that altered the law of conservation of energy. He said that matter can be changed into energy, and energy can be changed into matter, but the total amount of matter and energy in the universe remains the same. How was Einstein’s theory shown to be true?


What Did You Learn?

Give two examples of how one form of energy can change into heat energy. Give another example of an energy change.
List two ways in which energy does work for us.
The following list contains examples of forces, properties of matter, and forms of energy. Underline all the examples of forms of energy: inertia, heat, density, buoyancy, electricity, lift, weight, chemical, push, and nuclear.
Define mechanical energy and give an example.
What kind of energy can be quickly provided by a battery?
What is the law of conservation of energy?
Give an example of when an unwanted form of energy is produced in a device.
What happens to a roomful of light on a dark night with the lights are turned off?
Was energy transferred from the batter to the light bulb when an electric circuit was completed?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll (Review)

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Screen Play

David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Chris Coppernoll has authored six books including A Beautiful Fall and Providence. A national speaker to singles, Chris is also the founder of Soul2Soul, a syndicated radio program airing on 800 outlets in 20 countries. Chris holds a Masters degree from Rockbridge Seminary and resides outside Nashville, Tennessee.

Visit the author's website.

Screen Play, by Chris Coppernoll from David C. Cook on Vimeo.



Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (January 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434764826
ISBN-13: 978-1434764829

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


I absolutely had to be in New York by 1:30 p.m. Did my life depend upon it? Yes, as a matter of fact, it did. Just the thought of calling Ben or Avril with bad news from O’Hare churned my stomach and made my face prickle with a dizzying fear. I joined a sea of travelers bundled in parkas, hoods, hats, and gloves; they stretched out in front of me, pressing in and wresting me through a queue of red velvet theater ropes.


All of Chicago wanted to flee the blizzard they’d awakened to. Sometime after midnight the sky exploded with snowflakes. Icy white parachutists fell from their celestial perch as innocently as doves. The year’s last snowstorm tucked the city in with a white blanket knitted through the long winter’s night.


When I reached the American Airlines check-in, I hoisted one of my two black canvas bags onto the scale for the ticket agent.


“Harper Gray?” she asked, confirming my reservation.


“Yes.”


She returned my driver’s license, dropping her gaze to the workstation and tapping my information into the system. At the kiosk next to me, a large Texan with a silver rodeo buckle typed on his iPhone with his thumbs, mumbling something about checking the weather in Dallas.


Computers, I thought. What don’t we use them for?


It was obvious how many of my fellow travelers were heading somewhere for the New Year’s Eve festivities. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on a cluster of merry college students reveling in their Christmas

break. They joked and chattered, mentioning Times Square, unbothered by long lines or the imminent threat of weather delays. At thirty, almost thirty-one, I could no longer relate to their carefree lifestyle. Too much water under the bridge, most of it dark and all of it numbing.


“Here you are,” the ticket agent said, handing me a boarding pass still warm from the printer. I fumbled with my things, stuffing my photo ID into my wallet as a mother and her young son squeezed in next to me. The crowd current swept me away from the ticket counter, denying me a chance to ask the agent the one question I most wanted answered.


Is anyone flying out of here this morning?


I rolled my carry-on through the main concourse. I’d used the small black Samsonite for so many trips, I thought the airlines should paste labels on it like an old vaudevillian’s steamer trunk. A row of display monitors hung from a galvanized pipe, cobalt blue icicles glowing all the brighter in the dark and windowless hallway. I joined a beleaguered crowd of gawkers studying the departure screens. Their collective moans of frustration confirmed what I already knew. My flight—indeed, all flights out of O’Hare—was:


DELAYED


I pinched my eyes shut. This was not what I needed. Not today, not today of all days. I absolutely had to be in New York by 1:30 p.m. Did my life depend upon it? Yes, as a matter of fact, it did.


©2010 Cook Communications Ministries. Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover:

Sometimes the person farthest away from you is the one closest to your heart . . .


At thirty, Harper fears her chances for a thriving career and tru love are both fading fast. But when Harper is offered an unexpected role in a Broadway play - as understudy to New York's biggest diva-she wonders if everything is about to change.


Hoping to find love in NYC, Harper reluctantly signs up for an online dating site-but the only match Harper is even remotely interested in lives thousands of miles away. An actress who doesn't act, searching for love with someone she's never seen, Harper longs for God to show her He's still listening.


Through the contemporary text-message world of Internet dating, Harper learns it's possible to care for someone outside her own universe. And as she reaches out through the impersonal world of cyberspace, she becomes more aware than ever of God reaching out to her . . .

My Review:

I really liked this book and read it in one afternoon. The plot and characters were interesting and unique. It held my interest all the way through. I wanted to know what happened next. The look behind the scenes at Broadway plays and acting was great. The main focus of the story is on Harper Gray and is told from her viewpoint. In the beginning she was broken no money no job or boyfriend. Out of the blue she gets a call to go to New York and be an understudy in an old play being brought back, Apartment 19. Her friend Avril is waiting for her and is part of the play too. They have known each other since college. There were several twists and turns I did not expect. I liked the more conservative approach to faith and did not feel it was preachy and Harper is far from perfect. Love, faith, hope, romance, some humor all play a part in this book. Highly Recommended. :)

What are you reading on Mondays? January 18, 2010


Books read last week:

- After Dark by Haruki Murakami
- The Mountain Beyond by Terry Miller
- The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle by Raeanne Thayne
- Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux
- Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll
- Thicker than Blood by C. J. Darlington
- Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
- The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher
- A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley

Books I need to review:

The entire list above except for The Mountain Beyond

Reviews I posted last week:

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/male-factor-by-shaunti-feldhahn-review.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/that-certain-spark-by-cathy-marie-hake.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/this-is-your-brain-in-love-by-dr-earl.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/mountain-beyond-by-terry-miller-review.html

Books I am reading/going to be reading:

- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
-The Male Factor by Shaunti Feldhahn
- Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater
- Kelly's Chance by Wanda Brunstetter
- Becca by the Book by Lauren Jensen Walker

Current Giveaways:

The Male Factor by Shaunti Feldhahn
Enter here:
http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/male-factor-by-shaunti-feldhahn-review.html

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Salon January 17, 2010

The Sunday Salon.com

* This has been a great reading weekend. The weather has been rainy and chilly. Perfect for staying in the bed with a book. Which is where I have been most of Saturday and today. I have some cleaning to do so I have not accomplished as much reading as I did Saturday.

* So far this weekend I have read:

- The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle by Raeanne Thayne
- Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux
- Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll
- Thicker than Blood by C. J. Darlington
- Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
- The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* Most of these are for blog tours this week. My favorite is probably Jane of Lantern Hill. I love L. M. Montgomery's books. I have read almost all of them. I have not read her poetry or short stories though.

* I have a giveaway going on right now for The Male Factor by Shaunti Feldhahn. Here is the link to the post to enter on:
http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2010/01/male-factor-by-shaunti-feldhahn-review.html

* Off to read and finish the laundry. :)

* I hope everyone has a great week and finds lots of time to read.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Male Factor by Shaunti Feldhahn (Review and Giveaway)




From the Publisher:

A startling and confidential exploration of what men privately think about the words and actions of women in the workplace, based on nationwide surveys and confidential interviews with more than 3,000 men, ranging from corporate CEOs to factory workers.


Many talented women today risk undermining their careers without realizing it, simply because they don’t understand how they are perceived by their male colleagues and customers.


In The Male Factor, best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn reveals the inner reality behind men’s views — the unspoken expectations that no man would dare to publicly acknowledge, and no woman would learn from an HR department. These revelations include:


• Men’s unwritten ‘rules’ of the workplace

• How men perceive workplace emotion

• What common situations with female colleagues most frustrate men-- and why

• Why revealing clothing can sabotage a woman’s effectiveness

• Why some men think flextime is fine, but equal compensation for it is not


This book equips women with the information they need to make informed decisions and compete on a level playing field.


My Review:

I am almost half way through this book. It is very interesting but full of information. I am reading slowly and taking notes so I can hopefully use the information in my life. There is a lot research that went into the book and you can tell. She even designed a scientific survey with professionals. This is my first book by her but I want to read For Women Only which is about the inner lives of men and what we don't know. Recommended so far. :)




This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake (Review)


Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (August 1, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-0764203206


About the Book:

Gooding, Texas, is about to gain a double blessing - a veterinarian and a doctor. But when siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman arrive, the discovery that Taylor is a lady doctor has the town up in arms. Especially Karl Van der Vort, the town blacksmith, who becomes the first patient...against his will.


Though hesitant to believe in Taylor's doctoring skills, Karl finds himself oddly protective of this surprising woman who dares to drive about town on her own, wearing the color red, for heaven's sake! Taylor, on the other hand, wants only to prove that doctoring is her life's calling, despite the town's opposition. The result? Pride meets attraction head-on, and sparks begin to fly.


My Review:

The premise and plot line for the book was interesting. I thought the side plot involving Enoch, Taylor's brother, was unnecessary and took away from the book. It is a historical Christian fiction book and spotlights what it was like for women doctors in the 1800s. Men especially had severe reservations using women doctors. The book had several laugh out loud scenes. The writing was okay and the romance between main characters had its own issues. I struggled through parts of the book but overall it was okay historical romance book.
Review copy provided by Bethany House Publishers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Matter:Its Properties and Its Changes by Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card authors are:


and the book set of
Matter: Its Properties & Its Changes

The Main Book

The Student Journal

and The Teacher's Guide

New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (May 8, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORs:


Tom DeRosa left seminary and the church thinking he was throwing away his faith, but in reality he found a new religion: evolution. In 1978, Tom accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. Soon after he studied biblical creation at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and came to the conclusion that a lack of knowledge of the biblical account of creation is greatly responsible for keeping many people from Christ. His commitment to breaking down those barriers is what led Tom to form Creation Studies Institute in 1988.


Carolyn Reeves, Ph.D. and her husband make their home in Oxford, Mississippi where they are active members of North Oxford Baptist Church. Carolyn retired after a 30-year career as a science teacher, finished a doctoral degree in science education, and began a new venture as a writer and an educational consultant.



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:




The Main Book Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Perfect Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515603
ISBN-13: 978-0890515600

The Student Journal Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 089051559X
ISBN-13: 978-0890515594
Product Dimensions: 10.6 x

The Teacher's Guide Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books; Tch edition (May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515611
ISBN-13: 978-0890515617

Matter

Its Properties & Its Changes


By Tom DeRosa & Carolyn Reeves


Investigation #1: The Physical Side of Chemicals


Think about this. A detective collected samples of food from the table where a victim was eating when he collapsed. The detective sent them to a crime lab. A few days later, the lab called to say they had positively identified a poison in the victim’s food that was not in anyone else’s food. Have you ever wondered how someone in the crime lab could figure out what chemicals are present in food or in someone’s blood or in something else?


The Investigative Problems:

How can the physical properties of a chemical substance be used to help identify the substance?


Gather These Things:

Magnet
Iron nail
Sugar cube
Copper penny
Container of water
A piece of paraffin
Small amount of vegetable oil


Procedure & Observations

Your teacher will show you ten items. Your job is to identify one of the items on the basis of its physical properties. You should eliminate any item that doesn’t match the descriptions. These are the physical properties of the item: It is round. It is flat. You would not want to eat it. It would be hard to break. It is shiny. What is the item that has all of these properties?

Your teacher will give you some more substances to investigate, but each of these will be a pure chemical substance. They will be either an element or a compound.

Bring a magnet near each substance and observe if the magnet has an effect on it. Place each substance in a container of water and observe if it floats or sinks. Note if it is soluble (will dissolve) or insoluble (will not dissolve) in the water. Note also the color and whether it is shiny or dull. Put this information in a data table.


(sample of date table)


The Science Stuff

Physical properties are often characteristics you can see, hear, taste, smell, or feel, but may include any physical characteristics of a substance. You used some simple physical characteristics to identify one of the ten items you were first shown.

Some of the items you were shown were pure substances (like the glass), and some were a mixture of many substances (like the apple). A pure chemical substance could be either an element or a compound. (We’ll learn more about elements and compounds later.) A fragment of a pure substance would have the same properties as the whole substance. All of the basic particles in a pure substance are the same. For example, a piece of pure iron only contains particles of iron and a container of pure water only contains particles of water.

Properties such as size and shape were helpful in identifying the first items, but they are seldom considered in identifying pure chemical substances. The properties of the five pure substances listed in the chart will be present regardless of the size, shape, or amount of the substance. Scientists look for characteristics that will remain the same no matter where the chemical is found. Almost any substance can be made into a round shape, so this would not be helpful in knowing what chemical is present.

We examined physical properties of several pure substances, including the effects of a magnet, whether the substance would float or sink in water, whether the substance was soluble or insoluble in water, its color, and its shininess. There are many other properties we could have considered, such as odor, taste, density, hardness, brittleness, elasticity, melting and boiling temperatures, solubility in other liquids, conductivity of heat and electricity, and viscosity.


Making Connections

There is a huge need for methods, instruments, and trained people to identify chemical substances that are present in things. Identifying unknown chemicals is part of the study of analytical chemistry. This includes what chemical are present, their characteristics, and how much is present. There are many crime labs that hire people to help solve crimes by identifying things such as drugs, alcohol, poisons, or traces of gunpowder. Medical labs test blood and urine for the presence of many kinds of substances. Other labs help identify pollutants in the air, water, and environment. Industries must consistently monitor their products for impurities. These are only a few of the places where chemicals are analyzed.

One of the most important things any society can do is to maintain a clean source of water. During the Industrial Revolution, many factories were built next to a river so they could dump their wastes into the river. Congress eventually passed a number of laws to try and keep our water sources free of pollution. Even today, environmentalists look for better ways to prevent pesticides and other harmful chemicals from being washed into rivers and lakes after a rain.


Dig Deeper

Labs generally use both traditional methods and a variety of instruments to identify chemical substances. An instrument known as a spectroscope is often used to help analyze the chemicals in something. Do some reading about spectroscopes to find out how they work and what uses thy have.

Crime labs hire forensic scientists. What do forensic scientists do? Is there more than one kind of forensic scientist? If so, what are the different areas in which they work?

What are some of the U.S. laws that try to prevent water pollution? Do all countries have similar laws? Try to find the name of one charity whose mission is to provide clean water to people who don’t have clean water to drink.


What Did You Learn?

What are physical properties of chemical substances?
When scientists want to know what chemical substances are in an item, they seldom consider the size, shape, and amount of the item. Why is that?
Give ten examples of physical properties used by scientists to describe a chemical substance.
What is a pure chemical substance?
What are some of the things students learn about in analytical chemistry?
What are some of the main things that are don in medical labs?
How might an environmental agency use a lap that analyzes chemical substances?
Are the physical properties of pure iron the same anywhere pure iron is found?